The flying effect for theater is one that often enthralls audiences. That's why musical acts have borrowed this timeless tradition in their theatrical shows. Musical artists such as Taylor Swift and Pink have used it to accentuate an over-the-top performance, yet it is still an effective and attainable tool for small theaters. When you are preparing a young actor for the flying effect in theater, keep these top tips in mind.
Help Them Stay in Character
Remind the young actors that they need to be thinking "character thoughts" as they ascend and descend from the stage. That can be challenging for performers who don't have a lot of experience with multitasking in front of an audience. If the actor comes out of character or looks frightened in ways that aren't scripted during the flight scene, that will take the audience out of the play. Be sure to allow plenty of rehearsal time where you talk a young actor into staying in character.
Show the Actors Some Good Examples
Before asking young actors to try the flying effect, take the time to show them past performances where it was used well. For example, you may have to stream a performance of Peter Pan or another live stage show that used the flying effect to wow audiences. When actors see how it will logistically work and be a strong asset to a play, they will likely be more enthusiastic to try it.
Expect the Unexpected
Let young actors know that things may not go as planned. Reassure them that their safety will be prioritized, but beyond that, let them know that things may change at the last minute. The flying effect may need to be altered for technical reasons, so be sure the young actors are prepared for improvising if the need occurs.
Praise Their Courage
Although the flying effect is a lot of fun for many young actors, some may be scared. Be sure to take the time to praise the actors who try the flying effect. Look for specific things to praise for each actor. For example, some actors may be good at moving with fluidity in flight, while others may be especially brave although they are scared of it at first. Take the time to look at what the individual actor is achieving and sing their praises in front of the whole cast and crew.
Finally, keep in mind that anything can happen in live theater. If the young actors make mistakes with the flying effect during a performance, try to take it in stride. Address any issues with each actor privately, while putting up an enthusiastic attitude in front of the cast and crew.